DETROIT - Maybe Josh Beckett wasn’t being a swell teammate and selfless guy when he told Bobby Valentine to go ahead and let Jon Lester pitch Opening Day. Maybe Beckett was just being smart. The guy who pitched Game 1 against Justin Verlander was not likely to come away with a win for his effort. Going up against Verlander in 2011-12 is like going up against Pedro Martinez in 1999-2000.Interesting that Shank lauds Pedro Martinez in consecutive columns. Wasn't it Pedro Martinez that Shank ran out of town nearly a decade ago? Why, yes it was!
Clearly lacking new angles on which to write about the team or individual players, Shank is more than happy to remind readers yet again about the Red Sox circa September 2011.
The tall Texan can complain all he wants about snitches in the clubhouse and folks who don’t understand that his wife was about to have their first baby when things fell apart for the Red Sox last September. He can roll his eyes when talk shows in Boston overreact to his little side trip to visit a doctor a few days before the start of the season.The best way to forget some of the bad things that happened last year would be to stop writing about them in every damn column. This horse isn't just dead; it's decomposing.
Beckett got fat and sloppy last season. He was outed as a ringleader in the Beer-and-Chicken debacle. And in a season in which he went 13-7 with a nifty 2.89 ERA, he came up small when it mattered.
Beckett gets the ball Saturday afternoon. It’s a chance to restore his place as a staff stopper and leader. It’s a chance to make folks forget some of the bad things that happened at the end last year.